Saturday, January 12, 2008

$3657.08 And Counting

That's how much the student loan type people still want from me before they forgive the fact that I borrowed the money in the first place.

The first question that leaps to mind is, "At your age, why do you still have student loan payments?"

It's called Deferment or Forbearance depending on when you declare either.

I blame most of my lack of financial sense on credit cards. And medical bills. Mostly medical bills. But mostly credit cards.

The sincerely wacky thing is I never spent the money on anything of value, it was always for food and gas until the next miniscule paycheck. Which I presume is pretty valuable considering you need both to exist in today's economy.

Every month $300 of my paycheck goes to the Extremely Hungry Loan People. What would be nice is to discover what is the money being used for NOW?

I imagine it's a cycle that's just beginning for another poor college student. Books and tuition devour money like it's post-drinking pizza.

I will be sending the remainder in December 2008 plus any extra interest that might be left over.

And at this point, there's only one way I can imagine I can celebrate.

Don't incur anymore debt.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Beard of Destiny

The Beard of Destiny begins its reign of terror upon Stacy's Face.

It actually began its reign on January 1st, but don't say that too loudly because the Beard of Destiny will get upset and cause ingrown hairs to invade Stacy's Face.

The Beard of Destiny was created merely by happenstance because Stacy's Face hates shaving.

No, lets rephrase that. Stacy's Face LOATHES shaving.

Much better. SAT word. Thirty points on the verbal for me.

Shaving ranks above guys who grunt at the gym and below projectile vomiting.

The Beard of Destiny will grow in strength directly in proportion to how well Stacy's Life progresses in 2008.

You see, simply put, nothing really good happened in Stacy's Life in 2007. As Stacy looks back upon his life, he will file the year 2007 under, "Complete Waste of Time" with a subsection of "Dialysis Continue Unabated" and near "Stacy Needs a Make Out Session Soon."

The Beard of Destiny actually has a rather delineated destiny of it's own.

Something good happens in 2008, the beard will be destroyed. If not, the Beard of Destiny will continue to grow in density until people on the street start handing Stacy free change.

Actually, that would be kinda cool. Stacy does like gum. Free change can be used for goods and services. Gum costs a little bit of free change.

You're right. The Beard of Destiny is starting to make Stacy crazy. Mainly because of the itching.

Now you may be wondering, what would qualify as Good in the Life of Stacy?

I will share that with you now...

... a good night kiss.

... a raise in salary.

... a really good steak.

... a kind gesture from one of the patients at Dialysis.

... a kind gesture from no one in particular.

... free Sour Dough toast.

... a tax refund.

... a REAL vacation.

... a good warm hug from someone who cares about me.

There's probably more but the Beard of Destiny is getting feisty. As you can see from the above, Stacy's Life asks for Very Little because Very Little is all Stacy's Life needs.

The Beard of Destiny thanks you for reading.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Extremely Obese Fat Woman

Or maybe I should refer to her as Extremely Fat Obese Woman.

Whatever her name, she has turned Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday into a living hell at Dialysis.

I haven't even finished my first six days a week of treatment and I want to throttle her.

Every time I attend Dialysis I bring a NetFlix film to watch. If it's of high enough quality, I forget I'm at Dialysis and time zooms by.

But not today damn you.

You insisted on blaring your telenovela at the absolute loudest possible setting. As is usually the case with patients at my clinic, I ask the tech to request you to turn it down.

"Why?"

"Because you're disturbing the other patients."

Since I'm the only individual in your vicinity, you shoot me a nasty look. Then you stuff something green into your gullet and swallow without chewing.

You the proceed to crank your show back up to full volume when the tech is across the clinic.

This is not simply my issue, but something that is glaringly wrong with the nation as a whole.

Everything is about ME.

I want to talk on MY cellphone as loud as possible because I'M important. I need to be served next because MY time is more important than yours. I'M blaring MY radio because I want to listen to MY music as loud as possible.

ME, ME, ME...I, I, I.

Whatever happened to common courtesy to others in this country?

"Please" and "thank you" are foreign phrases. Offering your chair to an elderly or pregnant person on the bus is laughably extinct. Holding a door open for the person behind you a figment of the past.

With too many choices at our disposal we've created a ME generation where self absorption and narcissism have constipated the ego and created a mindset of self importance unseen in our culture before.

I will continue to battle these forces with kindness and patience with the hope that those who witness these moments will be baffled enough to contemplate their own personal actions.

I will thank YOU for your help. I will ask if YOU need help. I will do what I can to make sure the rudeness clogging the arteries of kindness in this country are cleared away.

And I hope I'm not alone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Marry Me Amy Sedaris

I dream of a day when the lovely and vivacious Amy Sedaris will discover my undying devotion to her and drop her cheesecake musings to join me in sheer bliss.

She'll create the ultimate sundress and we'll wail away the time warming ourselves on wooden benches in Central Park making sarcastic comments about no one in particular.

We'll make secret sayings that we blurt out in mixed company that are highly inappropriate but infinitely entertaining only to us.

I will have no choice but to propose to her and she'll blatantly turn me down only to show up in the middle of the night with an entire wedding procession adorned in animal mascot costumes.

I love you Amy Sedaris. Marry me now before I burst from the agony of us being apart.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Today was Day Two of the Infamous Stacy-Go-To-Dialysis Everyday-Because-I'm-a-Masochist.

Or something resembling that.

In my previous shift, I would only witness patients who were on the same track, namely Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight was my first Tuesday.

For whatever reason they buried us all way in the back at the far end of the clinic. Like we're some ugly secret only the staff really knows about.

Chair #45 was selected and as I sat down there was a middle aged Hispanic gentleman perpendicular to me in Chair #48, the Final Chair.

From the moment I sat down he just kept staring. Since we're all in this together, I simply gave him a gentle smile and continued setting my items exactly where I always set them every treatment.

I'm kinda weird that way.

As the gauze was prepared and the needles unwrapped I glanced up again to find he was still staring at me.

Mind you, I've never met this gentleman but the look in his eye seemed familiar.

As the Lidocaine burned and the needles invaded, his gaze never left my chair.

My blood began to churn and suddenly a frightening realization filled my veins.

Death was in Chair #48.

This doesn't trouble me as much as you'd think. I've been battling Him for years and so far, I'm winning.

The thing that most kids figure out pretty quickly about bullies is, they're pretty much cowards. I took the gaze He was boring into my belly and I turned it back on Him with equal voracity.

Death was shocked by this. And from what I've been told, Death doesn't shock easily.

As His needles were removed and He shuffled past me I gave him a nod. He paused momentarily, glanced around to see if anyone was eavesdropping and whispered.

"Rosebud."

Say what you will about Death but at least He has a sense of humor. And an appreciation of film history.

I thought for a moment for the perfect reply.

"Slurb."

Death froze for a moment and then a smile came to his face. It was eerie and comforting all at the same time.

And now we have an understanding.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Six Days, Seven Nights of Horror

As the New Year dawned I had a little conversation with myself.

It makes up for the times that other people don't wish to converse with me.

"So Stacy, how can you make your life even suckier than it is now? How can you increase the suckitude exponentially until it is nearly unbearable?"

And there the answer appeared, wedged between a pile of broken dreams, underneath a stash of missed opportunities.

"Double your Dialysis!"

Pure unadulterated genius!

What would move me to change from three days a week, three hour treatments to six days a week, two hour treatments?

The non-Dialysis days have become unbearable.

An entertaining mix of dizziness, combined with a fruitful amount of nausea. splashed on a general feeling of fogginess have joined together to create forces I can no longer defeat.

For many months now I've been kicking Dialysis' ass. He began to hide behind one of the nearby treatment chairs, unwilling to show his despicable face in my presence. Because he knew I was strong, bold and unafraid.

Dialysis' dirty little secret is that he's tenacious.

He'll make you dizzy. Then you bleed. Sometimes your vision will blackout. And just when you can't take anymore, moments before treatment ends, he'll bite into your calf with his razor sharp teeth until you beg forgiveness.

His cackles echo through your soul as you dive into the depths of self control, hoping to find the courage to defeat him once and for all.

But he holds the knowledge that you will return, you must return, or you'll die.

And that's when he attacks again, mocking you with every minute side effect.

After a while, your willingness to fight depletes itself and all you're left with is the shell of the mighty individual you once were.

This is my last resort, my final step toward personal defeat.

My Dialysis access is twelve years old now, an infinite amount of time compared to the normal patient.

It is the one aspect of my personality that Dialysis hates. I've beaten the odds before and I'll do it again just to spite him.

Three more chances a week for Dialysis to nip at my soul. Yet, three more chances to feel better and become the Stacy I truly miss.

I'll keep you updated on the score.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Running on Empty

I wish there were some sort of User's Manual when it came to one's life.

A problem arises and you turn to the Glossary to find out what page the answer is on.

That's right. Just like grade school.

Presently, I would turn to "Lost and Confused."

You're right. They're probably on separate pages. I didn't think of that. You're pretty bright for someone who's on the internet.

I'll do my best to explain how I'm feeling.

Every day is simply the same. Arise for work, perform job-type duties, go to Dialysis, return and read before bedtime. Recycle and repeat the next day.

I'm spinning my wheels on the sands of time and all it's doing is creating an irritating mess.

Which is ironically enough, what I've become.

Every month my non-Medicare insurance sends me a statement detailing how much every minute moment of my treatment costs. I usually just file them away for future reference, but I allowed one to grab my attention for a few moments.

All of a sudden I had an epiphany: it costs too much to keep me alive.

And what does society garner from my continued existence on this planet?

I quickly realized the answer and it had an unusual calming effect.

Absolutely nothing.

Which is exactly what my life has become.